Calling All Cowards

"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

Are you a coward?

When I was little and felt afraid of someone bigger than me, I would hide behind my mother's skirt, peeking around her legs until the bigger person went away.  Only then would I come out from around my momma's skirt and into the open.  I believed Momma would protect me, and she always did.

I don't think that's quite the coward the verse above in Revelation is referring to, but it gives us some perspective, doesn't it?  God always protects His own, and they know that very well.

There are many stalwart examples of bravery, faith and courage throughout the Holy Bible.  Noah, Abraham, Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, Joseph, David, Peter, Paul, the prophets, and so many more come to mind.  Three of my favorites are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Their story was one I heard many times as a child.  In reading the story again as an adult (Daniel 3), I am struck so much more by their acts of bravery.  These three are not bothered or manipulated by the king's rage.  There is not even the slightest hint of them being tempted by the culture or the crowd.  They are steadfast in their convictions and in their service to God Almighty--even to death.

Listen to how the three men responded to the king after being given the ultimatum of either bowing to the king's idols or being thrown into a fiery furnace, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up'" (Daniel 3:16-18).

Then, as only God can, He rescued them from the flames!  Not even the faintest scent of smoke was on their clothing.  They believed God had their ultimate best and highest blessing in store in return for their obedience.  Notice that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not know if they would live or die in the fiery furnace, but they knew they would continue to live with Jesus--no matter what happened.  Often we want to know the outcome before we will obey.  But, that kind of behavior doesn't exhibit any faith at all, does it? 

The Holy Bible reminds us in Joshua 1:9 that having strength and courage is a command, when it says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

When I was little, I knew I could do anything if Momma was there with me, protecting me.  How much better knowing that Jesus is always with me, protecting me?

Do you believe?  Do you have courage like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  

John MacArthur has this kind of courage.  Where are the rest of the Christian pastors?

It is precisely this kind of courage that God is looking for in you and in me.  This kind of courage defines a follower of Jesus.

Do you meet the definition?

Goodnight, Runners.


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